With flowers in full bloom, I spent a lot of time investigating my pasture and the ditches for plants to use for dyeing wool.
As I was doing my research, I realized I need to get things prepared before the wild flowers of summer and fall come in.
One of the things you need for dyeing is a mordant: “a translator that speaks both the language of the fiber and the language of the dye. It functions as a chemical bridge, binding to both the dye and the fabric more effectively than ether can bind to the other” (pg 18 of Harvesting Color).
There are commercial mordant powders you can buy, but I chose to make my own iron mordant.
According to Ms. Burgess’s recipe, iron mordant requires rusty objects, water, and vinegar.
After 11 days, I am still not happy with the amount of iron that has been added in the water.
I waited another 7 days to see if more iron would be drawn into the water. It took about 2-3 weeks for the rust to really come off and into the water.